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Get great tips for senior pets and taking your pets to the vet

At Affordable Veterinary Clinic, we believe in preventative health care. We work hard to educate our clients to help your animal friends lead the happiest, healthiest, and best lives possible. We hope that you will benefit from some of the following pet care tips.

Without regular brushing, chunks of hardened tartar accumulate along the gum line, requiring professional cleaning.


Like their human companions, dogs also run the risk of developing gingivitis. Gum disease can lead to serious health issues because bacteria travel from a dog’s mouth to its heart.

Watch those teeth

How to care for older pets

We never want to see our pets age. Acknowledging our pet’s rising age allows us to share many more loving memories with our beloved animal friends. Regular vet checkups need to be scheduled. There are many things to consider if your pet is reaching its senior years including diet, regular veterinary exams, and more.

To detect and monitor age-related health conditions, your veterinarian may recommend additional blood work and other tests.


Older pets should undergo a senior profile to check their kidney, liver, pancreas, and thyroid function and blood work to monitor white and red blood cell counts.

Get a thorough veterinary exam

Don't wait to take care of your pet's health. To schedule an appointment, call Affordable Veterinary Clinic today.


Since 2004, our locally owned and operated veterinary clinic has been serving pets in the community at affordable prices.

Get a FREE consultation from Dr. Steven Hall for veterinary services for your pet.

Consider a different diet

Since older pets tend to be less active, we advise pet owners to look for low-fat options that contain high-quality proteins and beneficial supplements like glucosamine for joint health.


Make sure that the diet is on point and that you are not feeding them calorie laden food like a 50-pound bag for $5. It’s also important to monitor the amount of treats you offer to older pets. Those calories add up, and extra pounds on a slow-moving pet can exacerbate joint issues.

Encourage pets to move

People think dogs that get older shouldn’t exercise. Even with older people, it’s important to move. You don’t have to run a triathlon, but it's important to move.


Some pets may need additional tools: ramps, diapers, or steps to make life easier as they become older.

Watch for signs of aging in dogs and cats

As dogs age, they are prone to thyroid issues, which can cause hair loss. Cataracts, cloudy eyes, and hearing loss also are common, along with longer naps. And, yes, some dogs become a bit senile, but medications can help.


Not surprisingly, cats are much better at hiding health issues. If your cat isn’t as active or misses more jumps than it lands, arthritis rather than clumsiness may be the cause. You also may notice that the cat has changed its gait. A thorough exam — complete with blood work, a dental cleaning, and heart scan — helps determine more serious problems.

How to make trips to the veterinarian easier

Want to make your pet’s trip to the veterinarian easier on you, your pet, and the entire staff of the veterinary hospital? The advice for you is simple: relax! Though there are a lot of other things you can do, a change of attitude can have the most dramatic effect.


A cheerful, optimistic outlook is contagious, not only by animals but also by the folks at the veterinary hospital. Adopting a more relaxed attitude may be the easiest thing you can do, but it’s not the only strategy to help get your pet through a veterinary visit with minimal anxiety.

Tips for car trips

For many pets, especially cats, car trips seem to end poorly (in the pet’s opinion). If the only time you got in a car you were going to get a shot or have a stranger poke a thermometer somewhere you’d rather he didn’t, you’d have a bad attitude about travel too.


Mix it up. Take your pet for rides he’ll enjoy. For dogs, head for a place to hike or to a store where pets are welcome. Though your cat likely won’t enjoy visiting, just getting out for a ride with treats and praise can help make him less nervous about future journeys.

Making your pet's carrier comfortable

Like the car, for many animals, a carrier means a trip to the veterinarian because that’s the only time they’re in one. That’s why many pets make themselves scarce the moment the carrier comes up from the basement or down from the garage rafters.


Change the script. Make the carrier part of the household furnishings. Though you may not want it as part of your formal living room, make space for it in an area your pet sees daily, such as the laundry room. Pets that are familiar with their carriers are more comfortable in them than those who are not when it comes time to get on the road.

Hungry is best

Bring treats, but make sure your pet is hungry enough to want them. It won’t kill your pet to skip the meal before a veterinary visit, and it will make the treats you’ll have at the hospital seem even more delicious.


Some pets really need a little more help than a loving owner can provide. If your pet is one of these, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild antianxiety medication for your pet's next visit.

Improving your pet's veterinary experience

Obviously, you’ll need to work out the details with your veterinarian before you put some of these strategies into place, but there is no doubt that you’ll have any problem doing so.


We veterinarians love animals, and we don’t like seeing them scared of us. Anything that can change a scaredy cat into a happy pet is something we can get behind – so much so that you shouldn’t be at all surprised to see your veterinarian also working to make visits more pleasant for all.